Sunday, August 6, 2017

Writing for 20 Minutes a Day

I recently enrolled in an online class that requires writing for twenty minutes a day. The class is offered by Story Circle Network which is an international organization that provides support and resources for women who want to tell their stories. If you are a woman who writes I highly recommend joining. The class I'm taking is facilitated by Len Leatherwood who is an amazing teacher. I've taken several classes with her and have always benefited by her encouragement and guidance.

This class has helped me to rearrange some of my thoughts about writing. Initially I thought the class would help me do more free writing. I just finished a poetry collection and a chapbook of flash fiction and I wanted a break from such structured types of writing. But in the end the reverse actually happened and it has opened an old but sealed off door for me.

In the first week of the class I used my morning journal time to write pieces to submit. In the process I reawakened my desire to write novels. I had abandoned my novel in order to write shorter works as well as to work more in my art journals. But I know I can never totally stop writing novels. I love to read them and they are fun to write. Yes, at times I don't feel like writing. Yes, at times the idea of writing a 300 page manuscript is overwhelming, and then there is the reality that it will need at least three revisions in order to call it finished. But I'm running out of excuses not to write my novel.

I have plot and subplots. I have characters. I have a strong outline. And I've written several pages already. Well, many pages.

What I concluded is that in the next three weeks of this class it would be an excellent and productive use of my twenty minutes of daily writing if I spent those writing minutes writing the  third version of a first draft of this novel that has been plaguing me for seven years. Why not use the time to get this novel back on its feet instead of just writing three pages a day that will go nowhere?

The challenge is set. I need to use this time to write my novel and I hope that those twenty minutes stretch into a couple hours a day of writing so I can get this done.

I'll keep you posted. Come along for the ride!